Executive Director (ED) Job Description
Supervisor(s): Board of Directors
Employment Status: Full-time
Location: Auburn Maine
Compensation: $70,000 – $85,000 annually
Organization Overview: Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) is a 52-year-old, statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the training and support of more than 1200 certified active volunteers who collect lake water quality data and screen lakes for invasive species. LSM’s mission statement, above, provides the basis for goals and objectives of the organization. Funding for LSM comes from a combination of state grants, awards from private foundations, and donations from individuals and lake associations. State funding through Maine Department of Environmental Protection supports LSM’s two main programs: Water Quality monitoring and Aquatic Invasive Species screening. Private grant funding is most often project-specific but on occasion may be used for general support as are most individual donations. Maintaining close communication with funders and volunteers is key to the organization’s stability and growth. A significant portion of LSM’s work is education of the volunteers who may become stakeholder leaders in their communities. Education continues following initial training in the form of webinars, an annual conference, newsletters, and website content; in addition, assessment and restoration guidance is provided when needed.
Position Overview: LSM is currently seeking a motivated, enthusiastic individual with a proven track-record of successful fundraising, who has a strong background in natural science, preferably limnology, and experience in the collegial administration style of a small non-profit organization. The successful candidate will have at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in the field of aquatic science and 3-years of experience in administration. In addition to fundraising, the Executive Director will be responsible for preparation and management of budgets; tracking of finances and financial reporting; and preparation of grant proposals. This individual will, along with the Board of Directors, construct and implement strategic plans. In doing so, they will manage a small staff and oversee communications. Communications range from preparing and delivering presentations, to fostering
positive relationships with individual volunteers, cooperating organizations, foundation contacts, and with members of both the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board. Although some work can be done virtually, the Executive Director is expected to be in the Auburn office most days of the week.
Executive Director Responsibilities:
- Is familiar with the details of all internal and external operations conducted by Lake Stewards of Maine including activities specified within grants and contracts
- Assures that the organization makes consistent and timely progress in achieving its mission and grant obligations; responds to the needs of LSM volunteers; provides quality science-based data to the public to promote local environmental decision making
- Leads, manages, and guides daily operations of LSM to ensure successful short term and long term growth, success, and optimal mission impact
- Provides leadership in developing existing and new programs; organizational and financial plans; and executes Board directives to achieve LSM’s mission
- Oversees and participates in the creation of annual income budgets that set goals for donations, grants, events, and campaigns
- Initiates and oversees development and fundraising in collaboration with staff and fundraising consultants, leveraging the Board as needed
- Seeks out grant opportunities, writes grant proposals, meets with funding representatives to procure funding, and incorporate grant obligations into daily priorities
- Engages in cultivation and stewardship of donors with particular emphasis on major and leadership donors to meet operating and capital funding goals
- Effectively represents the organization and promotes a positive organizational image to maintain high regard for the work done by LSM volunteers, respect for the mission and programs at local, regional, and statewide levels
- Communicates orally and in writing in a clear, concise manner
- Oversees production of newsletter, website content and content of weekly emails to constituents
- Keeps the Board advised of challenges and successes including grant overviews, training workshops and activities, budget status, and project specific progress
- Conducts outreach activities to promote LSM mission outside of fundraising and is an enthusiastic supporter of volunteer efforts
Administration & Management
- Actively engages in complex fiscal management through hands on budgetary development, oversight, and standard accounting practices; routinely reports performance and financial activities to the Board and funding entities
- Plans, actively manages, and oversees LSM’s operations, programs, fundraising, and operations while ensuring the organization’s financial sustainability
- Provides executive leadership that is thoughtful, inclusive, transparent, and empowering, in a manner that supports and guides LSM’s mission as defined by the Board
- Manages and motivates staff by fostering a professional, collaborative working environment; encourages professional development and safety training; promotes financial and program transparency, and accountability amongst staff
- Oversees Human Resource processes including hiring, separation, performance evaluations, recognition, compensation, and benefits
- Supports LSM staff by being willing to assist with routine tasks; is a clear communicator and is organized; is willing to make changes as necessary; fosters staff equity and reasonable workloads
Care of Building and Grounds
- Oversees at a minimum, semiannual inspections of internal and external building elements including, but not limited to, roof, chimney, heating and cooling systems, siding, windows, doors, pest exclusion, plumbing, septic system maintenance, lighting, air quality, basement condition, driveway condition, etc.
- Compiles an ongoing list of internal and external improvements necessary to keep facility as modern as possible (acknowledging building design limitations) and rectifies the highest priority issues
- Assures that staff are equipped with ergonomically correct workstations
- Evaluates worksite to evaluate ADA compliance and prepare a plan to achieve compliance
- Oversees maintenance of grounds including but not limited to removal of dangerous trees, mowing of grass, plowing, etc.
- Oversees Certification programs for volunteers trained by LSM
- Oversees and takes necessary steps to ensure that incoming data are handled in a responsible, organized manner
- Reviews, updates, and adds to the compendium of Standard Operation Procedures for all LSM functions
- Reviews written materials for clarity and accuracy
- Oversees and reports organization’s key indicators to Board of Directors
- Attends Board meetings; prepares annual budgets for Board approval and provides quarterly budget updates using standard accounting procedures and reports; provides updates on staff, current mission related and facilities work including timelines and progress
- Establishes goals, objectives, and operational plans in collaboration with the Board of Directors, and staff
- Communicates effectively with the Board by providing members with all information necessary to continually function properly and make informed decisions in a timely and accurate manner
- Suggests potential board members who will diversify Board expertise as outlined in Board Recruitment policy
- The ideal candidate embraces a strategic leadership style, exhibits positive emotional intelligence as well as a thoughtful approach to daily operational management, utilizes strategic planning to accomplish goals and objectives, and exhibits strong organizational leadership. It is recognized that most candidates will not have all these qualifications, thus willingness to learn is imperative. Specifically, qualified candidates should have:
- At minimum a bachelor’s degree in a natural science, preferably in Limnology, Aquatic Ecology or closely related field
- At least three years of executive experience as a successful leader of a nonprofit or similar organization
- Fundraising experience including writing grant proposals that has succeeded in funding an organization
- A proven track record of growing organizational capacity and programing
- A strong passion for protecting aquatic habitat, working with diverse groups of volunteers, and the ability to transfer this passion and skill to support the mission and programs of LSM
- Proven abilities and experience in fiscal management, preparing annual budgets, working with an oversight board, and adhering to transparent financial management practices
- General accounting knowledge; understanding financial statements and accounting reports; experience interpreting financial reports for planning, budgeting, and decision making purposes
- Passion for maintaining and improving existing programs, and seeking opportunities to gain support to create and implement complementary programs within Mission guidelines
- Superb people skills; able to speak with people from diverse educational, economic, and work backgrounds, meeting them at their level of understanding without compromising the message
- Solid experience using computer technology including the Microsoft suite, databases, project management or team communication software, to accomplish daily tasks; understanding the importance of public communication using websites and other social media tools
- Demonstrated ability to influence, lead and grow an organization including designing and directing strategies that enhance and support organizational operations
- Demonstrated ability of fostering an environment of accountability, transparency, inclusivity, healthy work relationships and partnerships with many outside individuals and organizations while maintaining a positive, collaborative work environment
- Experience in creating and establishing clear, measurable goals while following or creating standard operation procedures, and maintaining high quality standards
- Outstanding communication skills and ability to work well with staff, the Board, volunteers, funding entities, regional organizations, and communities.
To be considered for Executive Director, please submit your detailed resume, transcripts, and cover letter to ExecSearch@lakestewardsme.org in PDF format using the subject title: “Executive Director Position Application Materials” by March 10, 2023. Review of applications, interviews and presentation vetting will begin immediately and if necessary, may continue past this date until a selection is made. Competitive candidates will be asked for a list of three personal references that includes two with a supervisory role and one with a subordinate role to the candidate.
Following the interview, applicants of interest will be asked to provide a writing example between 2-5 pages in length and prepare a 15-minute presentation that shares a project showcasing both their scientific background and executive-level administrative experience, which will be presented over Zoom; the audience will include the LSM Staff, Board of Directors, and Board of Advisors. The top candidate will have a standard employment background check before a final offer is made.
If you have questions regarding this opportunity, please contact the hiring committee at ExecSearch@lakestewardsme.org.
Lake Stewards of Maine is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity and equity in all facets of the organization’s work. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other protected class.